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You'll Fall in Love with This Washington Practice's Branding Philosophy

Their belief: Before you can serve a patient, you’ve got to engage them.

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INTENTIONALITY IN MARKETING,” believes Dr. Samantha Hamblet, owner of Eye Love Olympia in Olympia, WA, is one area where too many ODs “miss the mark.” It’s not a claim anyone is likely to make about Eye Love, whose bold but fun branding begins with its striking logo — a black-and-white iris surrounding a heart-shaped pupil with the practice’s name in an eye-chart font. On branded items, natural elements like wood, cork, leaves and plants are added to this dichromatic base to create a feel Hamblet sums up as: “Naturally fun — modern with warmth.”

The logo is the most prominent branded component, and according to Hamblet, “the one that is most noticed and commented on. I really wanted an image that could stand on its own and that I would want to sport as a consumer.” Given the strength of the logo, she naturally wanted her business cards, stationery and other paper products to take on the same personality. “I have very thick business cards — they make a strong impression the second they are held.” A more “organic” (pun intended, Hamblet says) feature of Eye Love’s branding is the office’s wood/natural/plant aesthetic. The look lends itself well to the practice’s bamboo pens, craft paper bags, cork-bottom mugs, and apparel, which has sold well.

In fact, the green landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, and its ethos of sustainability, are a conscious influence on the brand, along with mid-century design. Hamblet also credits the influence of her artistic parents (her father built Eye Love’s cabinetry and optical displays).

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Eye Love also turned to 99designs.com to refine the logo, gotprint.com for its paper products and local company Jacknutt Apparel for the branded apparel.

The practice’s online branding ties into the in-office approach. Hamblet believes social media engagement should be exactly that — engagement — and not primarily about education. “My vision for our social media is using this platform to engage, create a sense of relationship and fun that makes you want to meet us,” she says. “I had a patient come in solely based on my Halloween costume I posted.”

If she has any other branding advice for ECPs, it would be that it needs to be a reflection of you and your desired presentation. “Branding is often an afterthought and should be the first thought in your business presentation,” she says. “Creating a cohesive brand allows your patients to know you before they meet you, because they are learning about you inadvertently.”

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After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at [email protected]

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